Orloff’s fifth top yield-profitability practice is the timing of herbicide applications. While growers often have the best intent when applying herbicides, sometimes they underestimate the actual weed infestation and treat it too late.

This can reduce the long-term profitability of the stand, in part tied to reduced alfalfa plant vigor.

“Weed control is crucial to prevent weed seed production. If you don’t, you’ll be living with weeds for a long time,” Orloff said.

Many weeds can produce more than 200,000 seeds per plant. The goal should be a near zero weed tolerance in seedling stands.

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